The difference of opinion with the Consumer Ombudsman, regarding voluntary additional services, will finally be resolved by the Market Court. Blue Finance is pleased with the news and considers this course of action to be the correct decision to help bring legal clarity.
The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) has intervened with our operations by citing the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). The CPA states that payments should not be requested from a consumer, who either pays other credit expenses besides the interest rate, or other credit expenses, besides the amount of credit that has been agreed upon or the credit limit, that exceed them by 0,01 percent a day over the duration of the contract. According to the FCCA, Blue Finance should cease from offering services such as paper invoicing or accelerated credit application handling if requesting payment from them would lead to a situation where credit costs exceed the maximum amount of credit costs stipulated by the CPA. Blue Finance does not share the FCCA’s stance on this matter. According to the CPA, expenses that are based on additional services and do not act as a prerequisite for a loan approval do not count as credit costs. The letter of the law, as well as its purpose, are both clear, that these expenses do not fall under the curfew of “credit expenses“ defined by the CPA. The consumer has been entitled to receive credit with the same terms and conditions, whether they choose to take advantage of the voluntary additional services or not. These services are entirely optional, and they only exist to improve the services provided by us to our customers. Producing these services also results in additional expenses for us.
”Classifying something such as paper invoicing as an inherent part of a loan contract is quite peculiar. We are a fully digitalized credit service that offers free-of-charge e-invoices to all of our customers and they can also access their invoices and information online at any time. Paper invoicing is an optional service separately selected by the customer and charging for it is based on the comparatively high cost of sending invoices by post these days,” says Petra Mengelt, CEO of Blue Finance Suomi Oy.
Blue Finance Suomi Oy has presented their view on this matter to the FCCA in a very detailed manner and argued their stance based on both the law and the regulations dictated by the European Union. This stance has also been backed by statements made by several experts saying that the FCCA’s view on this matter is contradictory to a law that is quite clear in its wording.
Blue Finance has been waiting for the FCCA to reach a decision on this matter for over six months and now they hope for this matter to be decided by the Market Court. The FCCA’s announcement on 28.1. ensures that matters are going to proceed in the appropriate order. Blue Finance is very pleased with this and considers it to be the correct decision because it helps bring legal clarity.
”We think it’s great that the FCCA has admitted that their stance might not be the only correct stance and that they’ve settled on letting the Market Court decide on this matter. Our stance differs from the FCCA’s one, and we expect the Market Court to eventually decide the matter in our favor. It is clear, however, that Blue Finance is going to respect whatever decision the court reaches on this matter and act accordingly,” summarizes Mengelt.
Read the article in Finnish here.